Updated: Feb 4
A copywriters portfolio is more than an upgraded cv. It is a way to communicate what you stand for as a writer and showcase your work. With a thought out portfolio, you can present yourself as a true professional and attract high-quality clients or employers. Although it is possible to work your way to the top without a portfolio, chances are you will be run over by the number of competitors, even if your writings skills are better. For your portfolio to be professional and effective, I will share with you the essential building blocks and will explain where to set it up. Trust me on this and invest your time in building a decent portfolio, and before you know you’ll be the one passing by your competitors on your way to success.
What are the Building Blocks of a Quality Portfolio?
A portfolio is not only about your work, but also about you. A potential employer wants to know what makes you a good writer and if you are a reliable working partner. That’s why you need to include a short bio where you express your writing mission and vision. If the potential client finds a match in your values with those of the company, you can bet he’ll be interested to further explore your portfolio.
The body of your portfolio consists of your most recent work, no older than 2 years. I understand that you want to display as much work as you can, you worked hard for it, and now it is time to shine! But keep your emotions in control and only select your best work, less is more. between 8-10 writing samples is normal.
More is possible if you have that much quality copy or you write in different niches. In the case of the latter, consider to categorize your work or even make a second portfolio. Having a variety of skills and interests is good, but focusing on your niche will broadcast a clear message in alignment with your mission and vision.
Do not include the names of previous clients if you had a ghostwriting assignment. If you are tempted to do so, you’ll be seen as unreliable.
Where to Set Up a Copywriter Portfolio?
There are different options for where to locate your copywriter portfolio. Depending on your writing ambitions, software skills and the investment in time and money you can spend, you can choose between the following:
Portfolio Creation Sites
As a writer, you can build a portfolio space on the platform of a creation website such as JournoPortfolio. The set-up is very straightforward, which is ideal if you have limited software skills. A basic portfolio profile is often free, but to display more articles or update your site address, payment options are available. One of the downsides is that the website is not fully yours and you’ll be driving traffic to your host company.
Content-Provider Marketplace Portfolio’s
You can compare this marketplace with an upgraded jobsite for writers, where you can build your portfolio next to many other writers. The beauty of it is that many quality clients will visit these sites in looking for a writer. The downside of being part of a big writing pool is that it’s hard to stand out. And, as it is still a pre-existing site, the options and data space are limited. One such marketplace is Contently, the content management platform connects freelance writers with top brands to work on high-quality projects that pay well. Another popular platform to set up a free portfolio for journalists and media pro’s is Muck Rack. Thanks to their automated software your portfolio is always up to date.
LinkedIn is a well-established authority when it comes to professional networking and showing off your skills. Although the platform is not specially directed to writers, your existing network can add to your credibility and the ability to upload some of your work can be enough to convince a potential client. If you have a vast network, there is a good chance people prefer to do business with you instead of with a bigger name or agency, just because they know and trust you or someone within your close network.
Your own Website
If you want to express your unique qualities as a writer, show your creativity and digital marketing skills, creating your own website is the way to go. This option demands the most time investment, and if you need professional help, it will cost you. But with your own website, you have limitless space and layout opportunities to display a unique copywriter portfolio. For some inspiration have a look at this elegant website of Jennifer Locke or the more picturesque site of Gari Cruze. If you overcome the hurdle of setting up a website, you can stand out as a professional writer with a unique market position. Driving traffic to your site will not only get you writing assignments, but you could also use it as a platform to grow your online business and sell e-books or do affiliate marketing.
Score a Hole in One!
If you are just starting your writing career, signing up at the Digital Nomad Writing Club for your writing course provides you with all you need. During the mentorship, you will immediately start writing for real clients and have your first articles published. At the end of the course, your mentor will help you to set up your portfolio and you can host it on their website for free, as part of your course. Another advantage is that the team knows you and can provide a recommendation letter to potential clients. I see this as a great way to launch your career. And once the first money rolls in and you still want to grow, you can invest it in your own website.